Produced by Frank & Anne Hummert and debuting on WLW-Cincinnati Radio August 14, 1933, "Ma Perkins" (or "Oxydol's Own Ma Perkins") would grow to be the longest running radio soap opera.
On December 4th, 1933, Ma Perkins graduated to the NBC Red Network, where it was broadcast until 1949.
In 1942, "Ma Perkins" was picked up by CBS radio, at which time it was broadcast on both NBC and CBS simultaneously.
Ma was the owner-operater of the lumber yard in small Southern town of Rushville Center, population 4000. Story-lines pivoted around her interactions with the local townsfolk as well as the ongoing dilemmas of her three children, Evey, Fay and John. One of her children died during WWII.
The kindly, trusting widow Ma Perkins with her huge heart, and great love for humanity, was forever offering her homespun philosophy to any troubled soul in need of advice.
Actress Virginia Payne was a mere 23 years old when she took on the role of matronly Ma Perkins and to her credit, in the 27 year run on the two networks, Virginia did not miss the taping of even one of the 7,065 episodes.
Ma's best friend Shuffle Shober was played by two actors - Charles Egelston (from 1933-1958) & Edwin Wolfe (from 1958-1960). Ma's son John was played by actor Gilbert Faust.
Her daughter Fay was played by Isabelle Krehbiel (1933), Margaret Draper & Rita Ascot. Finally, the role of Evey Perkins was played by 3 different women - Dora Johnson (1933-1944), Laurette Fillbrandt (1944-1945) & Kay Campbell (1945-1960). **
When the show finally ended on Friday, November 25th, 1960, the day after Thanksgiving Day, it was one of only eight entertainment shows still on the CBS radio network.
The last episode was the only one in which Virginia Payne's name was mentioned, by Payne herself in a farewell speech.
In all other episodes, the announcer at the close of the show would run down the names of all the actors in the cast (but one), and then say, "... and Ma Perkins." (SOURCE: Wikipedia)
Although Oxydol sponsored OXYDOL’S OWN MA PERKINS for a long time, there was an eventual parting of the ways. On Friday, November 30, 1956, the final broadcast took place under Oxydol sponsorship.
The following Monday, the program was sponsored by the “Multi Sponsors” package. The program continued its story with various sponsors until Friday, November 25, 1960.
This was the sad day when MA PERKINS and the other 5 remaining radio serials aired their final broadcasts on CBS Radio.
As for Oxydol (the detergent), it was a sponsor or co-sponsor of different daytime serials on television. (SOURCE: old-timeradio.com)
** In 1970 television, Kay Campbell took on the role of "Grandma Kate Martin" on ABC TV's popular daytime drama, All My Children. Kay played the part of one of the most life-long popular All My Children characters.
When Kay Campbell passed away, it became quite apparent that there could/would be no other person who could replace her in this role.
It was at this time that the passing away of "Grandma Kate" was worked into a most heartbreaking storyline, one that is remembered to this date when Grandma Kate's name is brought up in conversation by those who loved, and lived on, after she was gone.
Page #01 of 3 pgs
Ma Perkins 1 Misc 12 eps
Ma Perkins 2 1950 52 eps
Ma Perkins 3 1951 45 eps * def gp ddh